Cloud storage options

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This site replaces the former Compute Canada documentation site, and is now being managed by the Digital Research Alliance of Canada.

Ce site remplace l'ancien site de documentation de Calcul Canada et est maintenant géré par l'Alliance de recherche numérique du Canada.

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The existing storage types available in our clouds are:

  • Volume storage: The standard storage unit for cloud computing; can be attached to and detached from an instance.
  • Ephemeral/Disk storage: Virtual local disk storage tied to the lifecycle of a single instance.
  • Object storage: Non-hierarchical storage where data is created or uploaded in whole-file form.
  • Shared filesystem storage: Private network attached storage space (similar to NFS/SMB shares); must be configured on each instance where it is mounted.

Attributes of each storage type are compared in the following table:

Attribute Volume storage Ephemeral/Disk storage Object storage Shared filesystem storage
Default storage option Yes Yes No No
Can be accessed via a web browser No No Yes No
Access can be restricted for specific source IP ranges N/A N/A Yes (S3 ACL) N/A
Can be mounted on a single VM Yes Yes No Yes
Can be mounted on multiple VMs (and across projects) simultaneously No No No Yes
Automatic backups No (manually with snapshots) No No Yes (nightly to tape)
Suitable for write once, read only, and public access No No Yes No
Suitable for data/files that change frequently Yes Yes No Yes
Hierarchical filesystem Yes Yes No Yes
Suitable for long-term storage Yes No Yes Yes
Suitable mountable dedicated storage for individual servers Yes Only for temporary data No No
Deleted automatically upon deletion of VM No Yes No No
Standard magnitude of allocation GB GB TB TB
Multi-disk fault tolerance Yes c-flavors No; p-flavors Yes Yes Yes
Physical disk-level encryption No No No No